07/05/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

MIT To Assist In Efforts To Curb Distracted Driving

The Department of Transportation has asked the minds at MIT to think of ways to quell distracted driving.

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports:

MIT will look at how to best enforce laws about texting while driving. For example, [Secretary of Transportation Ray] LaHood said, could its engineers devise roadside methods for police to discern if a driver is using electronics?

He also hope [sic] that MIT researchers can develop an app that blocks potentially distracting devices for a driver without interfering with passenger devices.

LaHood issued a call for the scholars behind MIT's transportation blog, Transportation@MIT, to think of creative solutions.

He wrote:

If you watched Oprah on Friday, for example, you saw Jacy Good of Pennsylvania tell the story of her crushing injuries and the loss of her mother and her father in one moment. Because a driver was distracted. Jacy was on the verge of tears, Oprah was on the verge of tears, and in DC's Newseum where I participated in one of Oprah's viewing rallies, many in the crowd could not fight off their tears.

Well, my Facebook wall is all-too-full of similar sad narratives.

These horrible losses are 100% preventable; this has to stop.

And that's why today I'm appealing to the MIT community, among America's best and brightest, for help. I'm asking them to use their prodigious research skills to help us end this epidemic through three different avenues.

Those avenues include education, enforcement and technology.